JIMMY SPENCER (No. 41 Target Dodge Intrepid R/T) NOTE: Spencer finished seventh last year at California Speedway. Spencer finished 17th last Sunday at Talladega and ranks 20th in the NASCAR Winston Cup Standings despite failing to qualify for...
JIMMY SPENCER (No. 41 Target Dodge Intrepid R/T)
NOTE: Spencer finished seventh last year at California Speedway. Spencer finished 17th last Sunday at Talladega and ranks 20th in the NASCAR Winston Cup Standings despite failing to qualify for the Daytona 500.
"I really like California. It's a lot like Michigan and Las Vegas. It's hard to get in trouble there because the corners are so wide. It's a fast track and it's fun to race there. It's a real smooth track, and you need to get your car handling right. You need a good aero package and horsepower package. It's a non-restricted race, and that's the most fun, when you're driving fast with non-restricted engines.
"We ran bad all day last week at Talladega. We went backwards, got in a wreck and still came out 17th, so that's not too bad. We moved up two spots in the points, but that's been our worst race this year. We were not good at Daytona or Talladega, but we've had a top 10 car everywhere else, and we expect it to be the same way at California. Sterling (teammate Marlin) tested out there, so we'll go by his test for our setup.
"We had a good car in Las Vegas, and we're taking the same car to California. We're improving every week, and our goal is to get back in the top 10. I think if we hadn't missed Daytona we might be in the top 10 right now. We're going to try to qualify up front at California because track position seems to be critical everywhere we go this year, whether it's Bristol or Las Vegas, it's critical everywhere. It'll be no different at California.
"I'm scheduled to play in the Greater Greensboro Open (GGO) pro-am on Wednesday. I'm not sure who I'm going to be playing with yet, but I don't go to these things for my looks. I go to win. I won the last time I played in one at Tanglewood last year. We won by two strokes, and I made a putt and chip shot that my team used, so I contributed. I hit an eight iron chip shot that hit on the edge of the green and rolled to the hole. I thought it was going in. Everybody else used a wedge, and I used an eight-iron. I'm not a good golfer. I have about a 20 handicap, but I'll make bets on the golf course with anyone. If Tiger Woods would give me two strokes a hole, I'd beat him. A stroke a hole would be pretty strong. I ain't that good, but I love to play. It doesn't matter what I do, I want to win. I don't race boats because my boat is a cruiser. It's a party boat, but if I had a race with another party boat, I'd want to win.
"We've struggled a little bit this year, but we've bounced back after not making the Daytona 500. We had an opportunity to win at Bristol and Martinsville and things didn't work out. I'm pretty happy where we are in the points right now, considering we missed a race. I'm really looking forward to California and Richmond and Charlotte coming up. I'm really looking forward to all the tracks except maybe the road courses. And I'd say if everything goes right on the road course we could get a top 15 finish. The pit crew is doing an awesome job. Doug (crew chief Randolph) and Andy (team manager Graves) have been giving me great setups. The cars are handling good and we're just going to get stronger. Chip's (team owner Ganassi) happy. The team is better and has made a big improvement since last year. We'd like to keep that up and see if we can't be a lot better by midseason and go from there."